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HISPANIC HEALTH COALITION: Ethnography in Diabetes

CHALLENGE  The Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago features a very high rate of diabetes. How can the community become its own advocate in affecting behavior change to lower the rate of this condition, here?

GOAL  The Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago saw a mortality rate of 7.7% due to complications of diabetes. We sought to understand this further and find opportunity spaces to lower this risk.

MY ROLE  Research, design on a team.


METHODOLOGIES   We conducted ethnographic research into this Hispanic diabetes community. With a partner, I conducted in-home interviews with people and families with diabetes, designed diary studies, and a co-creation participatory design charrette. 

The event itself was successful drawing 30 participants of all ages from this community.

FINDINGS    In this community, teens acted as carriers of information between generations. 


Education is needed urgently — people interviewed care highly about diabetes and its effects on their family, and are missing successful learning opportunities. 

OUTCOME   The event yielded raised community enthusiasm around living healthy with diabetes. Participants were excited and offered many ideas to raise awareness and affect behavior change among this community, as all of their families faced this challenge. A Chicago hospital organization Mt Sinai partnered with this group to spread awareness around diabetes health. 

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